On Big Drawings

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installation of 'Polar Nights' in progress, Oct, 2014


the artist in her studio, 2013
















the artist in her studio, 2013
Olivia Petrides: work in progress, summer 2013
Aurora XXI            Ink and gouache on paper, 58" x 144", 2009-10

"I travel to locations where there are caves, volcanoes, lava flows, geysers, icebergs, glaciers, and, most recently, the aurora borealis. These are all iconic natural manifestations that I investigate in light of the nineteenth century idea of the
"sublime," a concept that embodies a contradictory relationship between feelings of awe and terror in the face of nature's overwhelming power. That attitude of inherent respect is challenged today by purely utilitarian approaches to the
natural world. Ultimately, these paintings and drawings are mental spaces in which emotions evoked by powerful landscapes can be reconsidered."

Olivia Petrides has had numerous exhibits in galleries and museums in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Her works are included in the public collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Park Service, the Field Museum, the Illinois State Museum, Openlands Preservation Association, and Icelandís Hafnarborg Institute of Art, among others. She has received numerous grants, and artist residencies, among which are a Fulbright Grant, American-Scandinavian Foundation Grants, and an Illinois Arts Council Governorís Exchange Award. She has been awarded residencies at the Rekjavik Municipal Museum and the Gil-society in Iceland; the Faroe Islands Museum of Natural History; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; the Vermont Studio Center; Yellowstone National Park; and the Ragdale Foundation. Petrides received her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Painting & Drawing Department and the Visual Communications Department.